News Center

Orange is the New Red

Corie Ralston and Cheryl Kerfield feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers discovered that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement from one location to another of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein.

Opening a New Route to Photonics

In this adiabatic elimination scheme, the movement of light through two outer waveguides is controlled via a “dark” middle waveguide that does not accumulate any light. (Image by Zhosia Rostomian)

Berkeley scientists have developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry.

A New Look at Surface Chemistry

Jim Ciston feature image

A multi-institutional team of researchers, including scientists from Berkeley Lab, have used a new scanning electron microscopy technique to resolve the unique atomic structure at the surface of a material. This new technique holds promise for the study of catalysis, corrosion and other critical chemical reactions.

Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane

Air travels accounts for about two-percent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. A new catalytic process for biofuels could significantly reduce this figure. (courtesy of Boeing)

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have developed a catalytic process for converting sugarcane biomass into a new class of aviation fuel and lubricant base oils that could help biorefineries achieve net life-cycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 80-percent.

On-demand X-rays at Synchrotron Light Sources

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Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) have developed an “X-rays on demand” technique in which ALS users can have access to the X-ray beams they want without affecting beams for other users.

Defects Can “Hulk-Up” Materials

Junqaio Wu Hulk feature

A Berkeley Lab study has shown that just as exposure to gamma radiation transforms Bruce Banner into fictional superhero the Hulk, exposure to alpha-particle radiation can transform thermoelectric materials into far more powerful versions of themselves.

CLAIRE Brings Electron Microscopy to Soft Materials

CLAIRE image of Al nanostructures with an inset that shows a cluster of six Al nanostructures.

Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Molecular Foundry, have invented a technique called “CLAIRE” that extends the incredible resolution of electron microscopy to the non-invasive nanoscale imaging of soft matter, including biomolecules, liquids, polymers, gels and foams.

Using Microbial Communities to Assess Environmental Contamination

The Bear Creek watershed in Oak Ridge, TN, was a a crucial site for the early development of nuclear weapons under the Manhattan Project and harbors spectacular geochemical gradients.

A study sponsored by ENIGMA, a DOE “Scientific Focus Area Program” based at Berkeley Lab has found that statistical analysis of DNA from natural microbial communities can be used to accurately identify environmental contaminants and serve as quantitative geochemical biosensors.

Counting All Costs, Berkeley Lab Researchers Find that Saving Energy Is Still Cheap

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Researchers at Berkeley Lab have conducted the most comprehensive study yet of the full cost of saving electricity by U.S. utility efficiency programs and now have an answer: 4.6 cents. That’s the average total cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in 20 states from 2009 to 2013, according to a new Berkeley Lab report. To arrive at that average, researchers collected and analyzed several hundred regulatory documents filed in each state by utilities and other administrators of efficiency programs that are funded by utility customers.

Energy Department to Provide $75 Million for ‘Fuels from Sunlight’ Hub

DOE Under Secretary Orr (second from right) tours Berkeley Lab's JCAP facility.

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $75 million in funding to renew the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub originally established in 2010 with the goal of harnessing solar energy for the production of fuel. JCAP researchers are focused on achieving the major scientific breakthroughs needed to produce liquid transportation fuels from a combination of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, using artificial photosynthesis.